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First Night

The First Lady knocked it out of the ballpark last night. A real trooper for sure. She left no doubt on where she is at. Even Donald Trump knows she smoked it. Trump twitter trashed Sens. Bernie Sander, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker last night, but said absolutely nothing about the First Lady.

My second favorite moment of last night was watching Sanders supporter Sarah Silverman tell the “Bernie or Bust” people that they were being ridiculous. They are.

New ‘Stro Alex Bregman is wearing the number 2. Name the two former ‘Stros skippers who wore the number 2?

Kuffer had a take a few days ago on Secretary Julian Castro and what he could be doing to help his political future. Here is a part:

In the meantime, if Castro is even slightly inclined towards running for Governor in 2018, he can lay a lot of groundwork for it by working to turn out Latino voters in Texas and help Democratic candidates, especially Latino candidates, get elected this year. There’s Pete Gallego for CD23, Dori Contreras Garza for State Supreme Court, State Rep candidates in Dallas and Bexar Counties, Ed Gonzalez for Harris County Sheriff, etc etc etc. He’s going to be out on the trail anyway, so why not put a little elbow grease into helping out in his own state? If he really wants to get people fired up about a future candidacy, spend a little time in places that aren’t Democratic now but which need to be at least on the way there for him to have something resembling a reasonable shot – Fort Bend, Williamson, Bastrop, Comal, Collin, Denton, Brazoria, you get this idea.

Here is the entire take: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=75547.

It is a good take but it probably will not happen. The Clinton/Kaine folks will have him go to Nevada, Colorado, and Florida and any other swing state where Latinos will make a difference. That’s politics.

This isn’t good.   From Politico:

Rep. Alan Grayson’s ex-wife repeatedly went to police with accusations of domestic abuse over a two-decade period, according to documents she has provided to POLITICO, revelations that come as the Florida congressman enters the final weeks of his Democratic primary campaign for Senate. 

Lolita Grayson called police on her husband at least two times in Virginia and two more times in Florida, sought medical attention on at least two occasions and said that, in one instance, he had threatened to kill her, according to a police report

Here is the entire Politico story: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/alan-grayson-wife-florida-226090.

In the Chron business section today there is a story on the upcoming Heights wet/dry election. Commentary lives a few blocks from the wet/dry section so I don’t get to vote and I won’t express an opinion.  Here is from the article:

H-E-B, which has expressed strong interest in establishing a store in the area, gave proponents a boost by working with Austin-based political consulting firm Texas Petition Strategies for the signature drive.

“H-E-B looks forward to the possibility of expanding our offerings to the Heights and Garden Oaks neighborhoods and are hopeful the registered voters will support us in November,” Cyndy Garza, public affairs director for H-E-B’s Houston region, said in a statement.

Garza added the company is “encouraged with all the positive, eager and rapid responses.”

Proponents say allowing retail beer and wine sales makes it viable for more grocery stores to operate in the area. Reaction to the effort has not been completely positive, judging from a spirited online neighborhood forum and letters to the editor.

Opponents say the ban – put in place shortly before Prohibition – has kept the neighborhood family-friendly and helps guard against unwanted development. A change could alter future development, local resident and real estate agent Bill Baldwin warned.

“It opens the door for waves of other commercial development that undermines the character of this historic neighborhood, when the reality is we could simply drive one extra mile to get out of the dry area, get what we need, and still be able to enjoy the amenities and quality of life that I and my neighbors love,” Baldwin said in an email. “I myself am willing to go that extra mile.”

Does he even live in the wet/dry area? Oh, well.

Here is the entire article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/retail/article/Petition-drive-to-turn-dry-area-of-the-Heights-8414059.php.

Former ‘Stros skippers Terry Collins and Brad Mills of course wore the number 2.

Bregman went 0-4 last night and we slipped to 3 ½ out.

Go Home

Cong. Debbie Wasserman Schultz needs to go home.

Yesterday I tweeted this after it was announced that she would not preside at the Democratic National Convention:

 

Marc Campos ‏@MarcCommentary 8h8 hours ago

This move will eliminate a lot of boos from @SenSanders delegates. Resignation next? #DNCinPHL

 

Later on during the day, it was announced that she would resign after the convention.

I’m sorry. She has become a distraction and needs to exit the stage immediately. There are no excuses. She is giving Donald Trump more ammo on the “rigged” thing.

Instead of celebrating Secretary Hillary Clinton’s VP pick, we are talking about a DNC that was taking sides during the primary. This is completely unacceptable – period.  Go home, Cong. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, please!

They also ought to fire every staffer who took sides against Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Heck, they booed her this morning at her own state delegation breakfast.  Go home!

The ‘Stros are 54-44 and 2 ½ out after 98 games. How were we doing last season after 98 games?

Commentary thinks Sec. Clinton made the right choice in picking Sen. Tim Kaine. Even though I said a few weeks ago that picking Secretary Julian Castro would help Dems here in Harris County, Sen. Kaine helps her in key states like his home state of Virginia and in Florida.

I was watching his introduction this past Saturday and was very impressed with his Spanish. He certainly will connect with those whose primary language is Spanish. He was blending it in smoothly. It is a given that he will throw in quite a few lines in Spanish during his acceptance speech Wednesday night. A first for sure, I think.

Commentary is disappointed in Commentary. When Ivanka Trump was introduced last Thursday evening, they played “Here Comes the Sun” by George Harrison. The Harrison estate came out the next day and said playing the tune was “offensive and against the wishes of the George Harrison estate.” They also said kind of tongue in cheek that it was OK to use George’s “Beware of Darkness” tune.

“Watch out now, take care

Beware of greedy leaders

They take you where you should not go….

…. Beware of Darkness.” 

I am disappointed because I should have thought of that.

This DNC email hack thing got me thinking of the 1966 comedy and Best Picture nominee “The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming” starring Carl Reiner, Brian Keith, Eve Marie Saint, Alan Arkin, and Jonathan Winters – just saying.

From an AP story yesterday:

Japanese electronics maker Funai Electric Co. says it’s yanking the plug on the world’s last video cassette recorder.

A company spokesman, who requested anonymity citing company practice, confirmed Monday that production will end sometime this month, although he would not give a date.

He said the company would like to continue production to meet customer requests, but can’t because key component makers are pulling out due to shrinking demand for VCRs.

I didn’t even know they were still making VCRs.

Last season, after 98 games, the ‘Stros were 55-43 and tied for first of course.

I am glad the team is bringing up Alex Bregman but I am still just going to wait and see. Remember at the beginning of the season when we celebrated the Tyler White debut and he ended up batting just .211.  Same for A.J. Reed who batted .156.   Let’s just wait and see with Bregman.

The Yankees visit The Yard for three and Carlos Beltran will still be booed after 12 years. If A-Rod plays, will he also get a few boos? Get on out to The Yard this evening and find out.

No It Don’t

Now we wait for Secretary Hillary Clinton to announce her choice for VP.

Meanwhile, as I write this, Donald Trump is on TV rehashing the primaries. What a tool. Keep trumping!

There is really not much to add to the analysis of Donald Trump’s speech. Dark and without solutions.

I will say that the GOP convention did not move the needle their way when you talk about the Latino vote.

Check these tweets:

Houston ChronicleVerified account ‏@HoustonChron 38m38 minutes ago

Peter Thiel’s speech shows major shift in GOP on gays http://trib.al/etExqQn

 

Annise Parker ‏@AnniseParker 29m29 minutes ago

Annise Parker Retweeted Houston Chronicle

No, it doesn’t.

 

And this AP story today:

Peter Thiel, a billionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist, is a different type of Republican, as delegates to the Republican National Convention found out Thursday night. But that didn’t keep them from giving the gay co-founder of PayPal a shockingly warm response. 

“I’m proud to be gay, I’m proud to be a Republican, but most of all I’m proud to be an American,” Thiel said to a thunderous standing ovation from members of a party officially opposed to gay rights, same-sex marriage and LGBT parenting.

The loud applause was also a major shift from the 2000 convention, when then-Rep. Jim Kolbe, an openly gay Arizona congressman, spoke briefly without even mentioning his sexuality. When he began talking, the Texas delegation took off their cowboy hats and began praying. 

Thiel also took on the type of social questions that have ravaged the GOP and destroyed its standing among Millennial voters. 

“Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom,” he said. “This is a distraction from our real problems. Who cares?”

I agree with the former H-Town Mayor. No it don’t!

I was watching CNN and a reporter asked Rick Scott, the GOP governor from Florida, about Thiel speaking.  Scott definitely did not want to have this discussion.

A standing ovation is one thing, having an anti-LGBT platform is another.

Thiel also spoke on the same day the NBA snatched the 2017 All Star game away from Charlotte because of House Bill 2 – a GOP product.

And you have Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and AG Ken Paxton running around Texas looking into bathrooms.

Sorry, this isn’t a shift. It is an ongoing assault.

Philly plays host to the Dems next week. When was the first time Philly won the World Serious?

I agree with the following:

JORGE RAMOS ‏@jorgeramosnews 7m7 minutes ago

Due to the lack of diversity and the hateful speeches, the RNC in Cleveland was the least inclusive convention I’ve covered since 1988

I watched in amusement as Ivanka Trump talked about child care and equal pay for women in front of a GOP who cut women absolutely no slack on these issues.

I was also disappointed that “Here Comes the Sun” was played when Ivanka was introduced, so I am glad the following AP story appeared this morning:

LONDON (AP) — The estate of former Beatle George Harrison is complaining about the use of his music at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Harrison’s family tweeted Friday that the use of the song “Here Comes the Sun” during the introduction of candidate Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka was not authorized, and was “offensive and against the wishes of the George Harrison estate.”

Rocker Paul Rodgers also complained about the use of his “All Right Now” at the climax of Trump’s speech.

Earlier in the convention, Brian May of Queen complained about the use of the band’s 1977 hit “We Are the Champions” during a Trump convention appearance.

I don’t know about “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

The Phillies won their first World Serious in 1980 when they took KC in six of course.

Some ‘Stros fans are wondering why we brought up Preston Tucker instead of Alex Bregman. Commentary is not going to second guess on this move.

We have the Angels in for three this weekend. They are handing out fedoras tonight and gnomes tomorrow. We are 3 ½ out so let’s keep it up.

Feeling Better

Dems should be feeling better this morning. Check this NBC tweet from last night:

TODAY ‏@TODAYshow 3m3 minutes ago

“This convention is a mess.” –@ChuckTodd #RNCinCLE

 

Then these:

 

Jamelle BouieVerified account ‏@jbouie 10m10 minutes ago

It is no small thing to sabotage a convention night, which makes Cruz the only national Republican of stature to oppose Trump with teeth.

 

Teddy Schleifer ‏@teddyschleifer 17m17 minutes ago

Ted Cruz was turned away from Sheldon Adelson’s suite today after his rebuke of Trump, sources tell CNN.

 

Miya Shay ‏@miyashay 24m24 minutes ago

The @Mike_Pence was solid, what you expect from VP nominee. I still can’t believe the whole @TedCruz thing actually happened. #RNCinCLE

 

Donald J. TrumpVerified account ‏@realDonaldTrump 15m15 minutes ago

Wow, Ted Cruz got booed off the stage, didn’t honor the pledge! I saw his speech two hours early but let him speak anyway. No big deal

 

Annise Parker ‏@AnniseParker 32m32 minutes ago Houston, TX

Annise Parker Retweeted The Hill

Not a fan of Cruz, but he showed integrity and courage tonight. He knew how that crowd would react.

 

Dan McLaughlin‏@baseballcrank 6m6 minutes ago

All you really need to know is that Ted Cruz calculated that by 2017, the smart play will be to have not endorsed Trump.

 

Teddy SchleiferVerified account ‏@teddyschleifer 1m1 minute ago

Teddy Schleifer Retweeted Dan McLaughlin

Yep. Never good to be booed, but Cruz placed a bet tonight. A year from now, it could be a good one.

 

Teddy Schleifer Retweeted

Glenn Thrush ‏@GlennThrush 20m20 minutes ago Cleveland, OH

.@tedcruz just told me: ‘I had to speak the truth… It’s going to be an interesting couple of days. The chips will fall where they may.’

 

I tweeted last night that Ted Cruz stole the night. Chuck Todd said the same thing. So did Don Lemon on CNN around midnight.

Dems should be feeling better because this has been a poorly run convention.

The Trump campaign couldn’t get their act together on the Melania Trump speech. The speech wasn’t vetted. When the plagiarism was discovered an hour after the speech, they lied, blamed Hillary and the media, and let the story fester for a day and a half. Better pros would have put the story to bed at the latest Tuesday morning.

They never should have invited Cruz to speak unless he was willing to endorse – period.  No ifs, ands, or buts.

Governor John Kasich didn’t speak. Neither did Jeb Bush. Neither did Carly Fiorina.

To invite Cruz to speak without getting an endorsement was reckless.

So last night, instead of talking about Governor Mike Spence’s speech or the Trump kid’s speech, we are talking about Cruz punking Donald’s parade.   Way to go!

Dems should be feeling good because if this is how Team Trump run their convention, this could very well be how they run the remainder of the campaign. Let’s hope so.

Jose Altuve leads MLB with 133 base hits. Who is number 2 in the base hit department for the ‘Stros this season?

It gets better for Dems. Check this from an AP story:

Donald Trump says the United States under his leadership might not come to the defense of some NATO members if Russia were to attack them. 

Trump tells The New York Times he would decide whether to protect the Baltic republics against Russian aggression based on whether those countries “have fulfilled their obligations to us.” 

In 2014, the 28-member alliance created a rapid-reaction force to protect the most vulnerable NATO members against a confrontation with Russia. 

Trump also says in the Times interview that he would not criticize Turkey for cracking down on political opponents and restricting civil liberties. 

Trump says the U.S. has no “right to lecture” other countries when “people are shooting policemen in cold blood.”

Then this tweet:

 

Tom Nichols‏@RadioFreeTom 40m40 minutes ago

Tom Nichols Retweeted Chuck Todd

Put another way, Trump wouldn’t honor a treaty our own allies invoked to come to our defense after 9/11.

 

I sure am looking forward to the debate that focuses on foreign policy. Trump is going to be all over the map – no pun intended.

He will be very scripted tonight.

Now to a baseball tweet:

 

Pete Abraham ‏@PeteAbe 23s23 seconds ago

Interleague play has somewhat lost its luster. But games like this are ‘event’ level for sure.

 

He’s talking about Red Sox versus Giants.

Nope! I think interleague has lost its luster. Though I am looking forward to catching San Luis for two in August and the Cubbies for a weekender in September, both at The Yard.

Prospect Alex Bregman played left field in Fresno last night. Fresno is our AAA affiliate.   He has been tearing it up. He was also drafted as a shortstop.   When we bring him up shortly, he is not going to play short. He could play third but that means Luis Valbuena would play first and that means Marwin Gonzalez would see less playing time. If we stick Bregman in left, what do we do with Colby Rasmus, who by the way hasn’t had a hot stick since April.   Well, as they say in MLB, that’s a good problem to have.

George Springer of course follows Altuve with 98 base hits.

We are 3 ½ out this morning and play the next 13 of 15 at home.

Here are the folks who are auditioning for a job with a Donald Trump administration from the best Commentary can tell: Governor Chris Christie, former Governor Rick Perry, and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Trump’s lap dogs for sure.

Here is the phrase that isn’t working: “Lock her up! Lock her up!” The phrase may be fun for their base, but I don’t think it works with suburban moms.

Here is what I didn’t hear yesterday when Donald Trump officially clinched the nomination: Even though they talked about his unusual candidacy and the fact that nobody predicted his win when he announced, there was not a peep from the talking heads that his campaign was about cheap personal attacks on his opponents (Lying Ted, Low Energy Jeb, Little Marco Rubio) and the media (dishonest media, Megyn Kelly, stripping away libel law protections), and misrepresentation of the facts (9/11 Muslim cheer leading in New Jersey, Mexico sending their rapists to the U.S.).

Sure it was an epic triumph and it was a good call to show his kids, but what was missing was how he got there and the political carnage that was created along the way – just saying.

The dumbest speech goes to Dr. Ben Carson for throwing in Lucifer and Saul Alinsky. Nobody knows who Saul Alinsky is. Who advises Carson?

Maybe Commentary is the only one who thinks this. I thought Tiffany Trump did okay for a 22-year old, but bought zero votes to the table.  Commentary also thought that Trump, Jr. gave a good delivery and made a good appeal to kids of billionaires.

As Savannah Guthrie said this morning, the second half of the convention begins today.

Speaking of Cleveland, Cleveland currently leads the AL Central with a 6 ½ game lead over the Tigers. When was the last time Cleveland made the playoffs?

I think Jorge Ramos wants to start a fight with Trump.  Check this tweet:

JORGE RAMOS ‏@jorgeramosnews 26m26 minutes ago

Jorge Ramos: Donald Trump Can’t Win Without Latinos http://adweek.it/2aern7Y  (And a Latin@ should be a moderator for the presidential debates

Trump doesn’t have any use for the Latino community. He for sure does not have any use for the Latino media. Same goes for the GOP on the Latino media front.

Trump for sure doesn’t want a Latino or Latina moderating a debate or heck, even as a panelist.

If Ramos pushes this, Trump could very well use this to duck out of the debates. I think Team Trump knows that he is not going to do well in the debates and he could very well say that he wouldn’t be treated fairly by the Latino journalists in a debate and threaten to walk – just saying.

The Chron has a piece on picking the next HISD Superintendent. Check this from Ericka Mellon:

The Houston school board is moving closer to hiring a superintendent, who will face stiff challenges of improving student achievement on a tight budget. And that person will work for a board with ideological differences and racial tension.

The board plans to conduct a second interview with one or more candidates on Wednesday. Board President Manuel Rodriguez Jr. declined to say how many contenders remained or to reveal names, though he confirmed that the trustees did interview interim Superintendent Ken Huewitt, who publicly expressed interest in the job. A source with knowledge of the national search said at least five candidates, including Huewitt, were given first interviews.

The Houston Independent School District board is set to meet again Thursday. The public notice stated the possibility of the trustees naming a finalist. Rodriguez, however, said he considered a decision that day “very unlikely” as the board may want to do more research.

And:

“When you have a board that basically does not appear to like each other and is not on board philosophically with each other, I wouldn’t want to be a superintendent in that situation,” said Gayle Fallon, the retired longtime president of the Houston Federation of Teachers.

Fallon said she expects that a candidate’s race or ethnicity will factor into the board’s hiring decision. The board is made up of four Caucasions, three African Americans and two Hispanics. “Unfortunately, ‘what’ is going to be as important as ‘who,'” Fallon said.

Here is the entire piece: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/education/article/HISD-nears-end-of-search-for-a-new-superintendent-8393856.php.

Cleveland made the playoffs in 2013 as a Wild Card team of course and lost to the Rays in the Wild Card game.

We had a 3-0 lead going into the 7th and lost 4-3 in the 10th. We can’t be doing this and expect to be in the hunt in late September.

It Was Plagiarism

Let’s just get this out of the way. No ifs, ands, or buts, it was plagiarism pure and simple. Here is the definition from dictionary .com:

an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own, as by not crediting the original author:

Commentary watched last night and after Melania Trump spoke, I concluded that the Donald Trump campaign had a good day. Not a great day, but a good day.

They had the scuffle earlier with the rules fight. Rudy Giuliani nearly exploded in front of our eyes. Blue lives, Black lives, all lives, and Benghazi also got mention. Trump made a rock star entrance and introduced Melania and she did OK. She never really said what Trump was like at home. Did they play Scrabble at night? What was the last movie they watched together on the flat screen? Does he know how to make his own taco bowl? We didn’t get any of that.

Later on as the last speakers finished up, the Twitter started lighting up about the speech. I was watching CNN and wondering if the speech was going to be addressed. I think it was Anderson Cooper who brought it up and even the GOP talking heads conceded it was plagiarism.

The CNN panel discussion turned to how should the Trump campaign respond. Fire the speechwriter? Have Melania Trump own up to it and make light of it. I think it was Jake Tapper who said don’t rule out Trump denying it was plagiarism and going on attack against the media.   And that is where we are this morning.

The fella who is running the Trump Campaign says there was no lifting of lines from the 2008 Michelle Obama convention speech.  That is not what the GOP Chair thinks. Check this:

CNN Breaking News ‏@cnnbrk 33m33 minutes ago

RNC chairman Reince Priebus: I’d “probably” fire whoever included plagiarized quotes in Melania Trump’s speech.

Of course, this doesn’t surprise me from the First Valet:

TODAYVerified account ‏@TODAYshow 2h2 hours ago

Plagiarism? “Not when 93% of the speech is completely different than Michelle Obama’s speech.” –@GovChristie

That guy has his head so far up Trump’s arse it is disgusting.

And this:

Dog Days of Evan Retweeted

Rafi Schwartz ‏@TheJewishDream 1h1 hour ago

Rafi Schwartz Retweeted Fusion

That thing when a GOP crowd cheers someone born outside the US as she steals work from an American citizen.

Well, their good day was just blown up if you ask me. Let’s keep talking about it today.

Apparently things got a little interesting in the ‘Stros dugout last night involving the Skipper, Mike Fiers, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Gomez. Lucky for the team, it got settled quickly and Fiers owned up after the game. In 2008, who was the ‘Stros player who pushed the GM to the ground and grabbed him by the neck?

They have a lot of work to do.  I am talking about the Trump Campaign and women. Here is this from the internet:

Only about 17 people showed up to a “Women Vote Trump” rally in Cleveland on Monday, according to a Guardian journalist present at the event. 

The Guardian reporter tweeted that since the crowd was so small, panelists had to ask each other questions during the Q&A portion of the event. 

Though Jezebel reported the number higher at 30, the figure still included journalists and media interns covering the event. 

Stacey Dash, “Clueless” star and Fox news contributor, was scheduled to attend the event but was a no-show, according to Jezebel.  

YouTubers Diamond and Silk were there, however, and they spoke about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s lack of job creation abilities. 

“Unless you wanna talk about that one she created for Monica Lewinsky with her husband,” Diamond quipped, according to Jezebel. 

By contrast, over 1,800 women volunteered to speak out at an anti-Trump rally and performance art piece on Sunday.

Like I said, a lot of work to do..

Pitcher Shawn Chacon of course got into a physical altercation with GM Ed Wade.  Chacon was terminated and never played in baseball again.

Dallas Keuchel takes the mound today. Let’s hope for a win.

Got Guns!

Again, I am skipping the MLB question. This is sounding too regular if you ask me.

Commentary was visiting with my neighbors at The Yard the other day and I asked them if they had a problem if we started seeing law enforcement in tactical gear carrying long guns outside of venues like The Yard or at other major events that attract huge crowds. My neighbors didn’t have a problem with this. When you go to The Yard, there is a law enforcement presence outside but they are usually handling traffic control. It won’t be long before we start seeing them at major events strategically positioned and wearing special gear and armed with more powerful weapons. That’s the environment that we live in these days. Got guns!

Commentary watched Donald Trump introduce his running mate Saturday morning and it was all about Donald Trump. For a second or three, I thought he was going to name himself as his running mate. I wasn’t surprised.  The “back to Mike Pence” line was a doozy for sure.

This is messed up. Montrel Jackson was one of the Baton Rouge police officers who was killed yesterday. He was 32 and also African American. This was one of his last Facebook posts. Check this:

“I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me. In uniform I get nasty hateful looks and out of uniform some consider me a threat.”

I never thought about it that way.

Today through Thursday, I will be watching the GOP in convention in Cleveland. It will be four days of bashing Secretary Hillary Clinton for sure.

Stay tuned!

I saw this yesterday:

Ryan M. Spaeder ‏@theaceofspaeder 18m18 minutes ago

#Astros through 760 career games

Craig Biggio .273/.352/.384 746 H, 198 XBH, & 123 SB

Jose Altuve .310/.352/.431 955 H, 254 XBH, & 193 SB

Yeah, but in 441 of those games, Biggio started at catcher.

The team signed a Cuban ballplayer this weekend for five years and $47 mil. All that means is the price of a Saint Arnold is going up again at The Yard next season.

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